Kaa Iya National Park
Part of the Great Gran Chaco Forest, Kaa Iya is part of the worlds largest dry tropical woodland forest and one of the best areas to see Jaguars. The park itself is larger than Belgium and represents the worlds 2nd largest forested area behind the Amazon.
Kaa Iya National Park was established on September 21 1995, It was created by the indigenous groups of the area and is the only National Park in the America's that has been established and administrated by Indigenous people.
This National Park consists of Chaco Forests which is a dry tropical woodland, its the worlds most pristine Chaco Forest and is part of the great Gran Chaco, a forest system which is the 2nd largest forested area behind the Amazon. Kaa Iya National Park has many other different eco systems and these include Dry Savannas , Seasonally Flooded Wetlands, Mountains and Valleys and Tropical Dry Forests
Flora and Fauna
This park is famous for its large populations of Jaguars and other large mammals, 59 species of large mammals have been recorded here and they include healthy populations of Jaguars, Pumas, Tapirs, Giant Armadillos, guanaco's, White Lipped Peccaries, Giant Anteaters, Solitary Peccaries and more. 65 Species of small mammals have been recorded here as well as 301 species of birds. This is the best area in Bolivia for big mammal sightings. WCS completed a camera trap study of this park and they estimated that this park has over 1000 Jaguars which makes it one of the largest populations of these big cats found anywhere on the planet. Due to the low human population inside the park its provided animals a giant refuge which gives travelers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in South America 89 species of reptiles and amphibians have been recorded here. Over 880 species of vascular plants have been recorded here, 1500 higher plants and 28 species of Spore plants, important planet species include Floss Silk Tree, Black Soto , Wax Palm and Palma Sao.
This area is a very dry and hot area, with average temperatures of 34 degrees , There is very little rainfall which falls between 400-1400mm yearly
Access to this park is very challenging and should be done with the help of a tour operator in Santa Cruz Bolivia. In the wet season the roads entering the Park are very difficult and at times impossible to enter. Nicks Adventures Bolivia is a local tour operator who specializes in trips to this National Park. This park is very remote so to enter the park you require a strong 4WD with a winch , satellite phone and prior permission from the National Parks office to enter.
To enter this park you require a strong 4WD,
When visiting Kaa Iya National Park, the main attractions are the wildlife, Big Mammals such as Jaguars, Tapirs and Pumas are frequently seen. Birding here is very popular and there are over 301 different species of birds here, other attractions of the park is its pristine Chaco Forests and beautiful Salt Lakes, during the dry season many animals also congregate at the limited water areas making wildlife viewing easier. Due to the lack of access and minimal tourism this has provided tourists who visit the park some of the very best wildlife viewing opportunities in South America. This National Park also hosts the last remaining pristine Chaco Forests which is part of the worlds 2nd largest forested area behind the Amazon, sadly most of Paraguay's and Argentina's Chaco Forests have been converted to Soya Farms or Cattle Ranchers.